Dustin Johnson is one of the top-ranked golfers in the world. Since making his PGA Tour debut in 2007, Johnson has seen the highest highs of success on the course. He has won the PGA Championship and been ranked as the best golfer in the world. Along the way, he has earned comparisons to some of the greatest golfers of all-time, including Tiger Woods. Like Woods, Johnson’s personal life has not always gone as according to plan as his professional life. Here is everything you need to know about Dustin Johnson both on and off the links!
A Long Engagement
In 2013, Dustin Johnson proposed to Paulina Gretzky, the daughter of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky. The couple had been dating for seven months, which was enough time for Johnson to know he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.
Today, they have not yet gotten married. Despite this, they do have two children together; Tatum and River. In 2019, it was reported that a wedding was imminent, although no nuptials have been exchanged. At this point we have to ask; will it ever happen?
An Odd Master’s Withdrawl
The golf world had plenty of questions for Dustin Johnson when he withdrew from the 81st Masters at the last minute in 2017. Speaking with reporters, he said, “I just slipped as I was going down the stairs.”
Johnson was on his way to his car at his rental home in Augusta to pick up his son from daycare at the time. The freak accident caused enough discomfort in his back that he didn’t want to risk further injury by playing in the physically stressful tournament.
Not Everyone Believed His Reason
While Johnson gave a legitimate reason for having to drop out of the Masters, not everyone believed him. George Willis of The New York Post wanted medical proof, saying it would have “validated” Johnson’s claims. As you’ll find out later, this wasn’t the first time Johnson “used his back as an excuse.”
More concerning to Willis was that such a seemingly minor injury shouldn’t have kept Johnson out of the tournament, “If there was no structural damage such as a broken tailbone or broken rib, then why didn’t Johnson at least give it a try?”
Was He Involved With Alli MacKenzie?
One year after announcing his engagement with Paulina Gretzky, rumors began to float that Johnson was involved with Alli MacKenzie. At the time, she was in the process of separating from her husband, golfer Will MacKenzie.
Alli and Dustin both denied the rumors, despite photos being published of them at a grocery store in 2015 with his arm around her. MacKenzie said it was a chance encounter, “I ran into an old friend buying baby food for his son at Publix. I wish Paulina, Tatum, and Dustin the very best start in their lives together.”
He Was A Troubled Youth
As a teenager, Johnson was the definition of a troubled, one time being put on trial for his involvement in a burglary. While he denies he ever entered the house with his friends when he was 16 years old, it was the events that followed that would affect him forever.
One of the items stolen from the house was a firearm, which Johnson used a fake ID to buy ammunition for at Wal-Mart. When the weapon was later used by an acquaintance, Johnson was forced to testify against his friends in return for a full pardon.
Wayne Gretzky May Have Stopped The Wedding
After a seven month courtship, Johnson and Paulina Gretzky were on the fast track to be married in 2014 when “The Great One” got involved. Wayne disapproved of Dustin at the time for his “party hard” lifestyle. At least, that’s what Fox News reported.
Johnson and his fiance cited scheduling conflicts as the reason for the nuptial delay. Working on the PGA Tour and making guest appearances around the country didn’t leave Johnson with a lot of time to focus on his upcoming marriage, leading to the delay. Which story do you believe?
Another Delay In 2015
After the couple’s first marriage delay, they planned to try again in 2015 but once again had to halt their nuptials. This time no reason was given, although parenthood seemed to be the driving factor.
In a 2015 interview with ABC News, Paulina gushed over Johnson’s newfound fathering skills, “It’s just unbelievable. Dustin’s the best dad, he’s my best friend.” Johnson also admitted that being a father and role model changed his perspective on life.
Cheating Allegations From Vijay Singh
Dustin Johnson’s reputation took another hit in 2013 when Vijay Singh, one of the top-ranked golfers in the world, accused him of using deer antler spray. The spray is a known performance enhancer, and Singh was firing back after being suspended himself for using it.
Singh, who had his suspension rescinded, sued the PGA for, among other things, only coming after him and not other golfers. The PGA’s attorney claimed that Singh was “fishing” by calling out Johnson, ending any speculation about the foul play from him.
Is Paulina Too Provocative?
Golf is a considered a “gentleman’s sport,” so when Dustin Johnson began dating Paulina Gretzky it turned some eyes. Aside from being the daughter of a hockey legend, Paulina had earned a reputation as a socialite and model.
In 2014, Golf Digest came under fire for featuring her on the cover simply because of her relationship with Johnson and her online presence. She has also been heavily criticized for the less-than-conservative outfits she has worn to tournaments to support her fiance.
He Was Friends With Paulina’s Mom First
Before ever meeting Paulina Gretzky, Dustin Johnson had met her mother Janet in 2009. The two became friends, and Dustin was eventually invited over for dinner. This is where he met both Wayne and his future fiance.
Sparks didn’t initially fly when they first met. As Paulina puts it, “We became good friends. Actually, my whole family became friends with Dustin — my brothers and parents saw him a lot more than I did.” To this day, Dustin still cites Wayne as one of his mentors, even with the rumors about his involvement with their canceled wedding.
Dustin Johnson’s Connection With Yassie Safai
Things got rocky for Dustin Johnson and Paulina Gretzky in 2018 when he was rumored to be involved with Yassie Safai. Johnson never denied the incident, tweeting instead that, “Every relationship goes through its ups and downs, but most importantly, we love each other very much and are committed to being a family.”
Safai denied anything happened, telling TMZ, “I am sure he is a great person but we do not have a close friendship. I have never met Paulina Gretzky and do not know the Gretzky family, but again, I am sure they are great people.”
Paulina Wasn’t So Nice About It
While the rumors have never been confirmed about Johnson and Safai, Paulina Gretzky must have been suspicious something was going on. Shortly after the story broke, she removed him entirely from her social media accounts.
Gretzky didn’t stay mad at Johnson for long, though. Just a few weeks after seemingly erasing him from her life, she showed up to support him at the Ryder Cup in Paris. They were very hands-on with each other and not afraid of giving the cameras a little PDA show.
Wayne Was The Third Wheel On Dustin And Paulina’s First Date
Although Dustin Johnson met Paulina Gretzky for the first time in 2009, the couple didn’t go on their first date for three years. That special night ended up being quite the dud when Wayne Gretzky decided he needed to tag along.
When dinner ended, Paulina asked her dad to leave, allowing for a more intimate conversation to begin with Dustin. Finally alone, the two talked late into the evening. The rest is history and she quickly joined him at Kapalua in Hawaii.
Dustin Expects Wayne To Pay For The Wedding
You already know the supposed reasons why the wedding of Paulina Gretzky and Dustin Johnson has been called off multiple times. What you don’t know is that when the wedding finally happens, the world-class golfer expects the legendary hockey player to pay for everything.
Johnson spilled the beans on his assumption to the NY Post in 2016. The publication asked him how “extravagant” the wedding was going to be and he responded, “Don’t matter to me. That bill is going to Wayne.”
The Couple Lives Walking Distance From Wayne And Janet Gretzky
As if having your future in-laws take part in your dates isn’t enough for Dustin and Paulina, they also live walking distance from Wayne and Janet. A typical morning for the couple starts with them waking up and walking from their townhouse to the Gretzkys’ house for breakfast.
Then, after the long day is done, they return for dinner. This routine might sound nice once a week, but for Johnson, it happens every day. It’s a good thing he likes his future in-laws!!
He Asks Paulina’s Permission Before Posting On Social Media
When it comes to Paulina Gretzky’s social media presence, especially on Instagram, she posts whatever she wants. Even when she Dustin Johnson prefers something to stay private, she doesn’t shy away from putting it in the public eye.
The same can’t be said for Johnson. When he wants to post something on Instagram, he knows he needs to get it cleared with the love of his life first, telling Golf Digest, “I ask her, though, if I can post something.”
He Leaves Lot Of Comments On Paulina’s Instagram
When Dustin Johnson and Paulina Gretzky are both on the same page with each other, it’s best to avoid the comments section on her Instagram. Whenever she posts a provocative picture, he responds with a racy comment.
There have been times when he’s left a G-rated love note, like, “I love you so much and I miss you can’t wait to see you.” Of course, we can’t write what he followed it up with, but let’s just say it wasn’t safe for work.
Johnson’s Grandma Helped Him Get Into College
After high school, Dustin Johnson enrolled at Midlands Technical College to make up credits. He really wanted to go to Coastal Carolina and play golf, but wasn’t qualified to apply to the school and join the program.
Luckily, his paternal grandmother took charge. She called the college’s golf coach, Allen Terrell and explained her grandson’s situation. Terrell listened and went Coastal Carolina’s president to talk to him about Johnson. The conversation convinced the president to take a chance on Johnson, who has since made good on his potential.
He Has An Obsession With Suits
You might be used to seeing Dustin Johnson in a golf shirt and khakis on television, but in his personal life, he loves suits. Specifically, Johnson has a large collection of Dolce & Gabbana suits.
In total, Johnson has admitted to having 30 of these high priced suits. With such a large closet and busy schedule playing golf, he doesn’t get to wear them all and also admits that at least half of his collection still has tags.
Johnson Talked Back To His Teachers
As a student, Dustin Johnson didn’t care much for school. He always believed golf was his future, and wasn’t afraid to let his teachers know. One of his most memorable moments came in middle school, when his geography teacher asked him to find a location on a map.
Johnson looked at his teacher and said, “Mrs. Kennedy. I don’t need to know where that is. When I’m on tour, I’ll get my pilot to fly my private jet to where I need to go.” When he was reminded of that story years later, he quipped, “and I was right.”
The Wife Of A Famous Athlete
Elin Nordegren had a successful modeling career in Sweden earlier in life, but it was her marriage to Tiger Woods that made her an international celebrity. Though the couple intrigued the public from the start, the peak of their attention came during their scandalous divorce.
As women started accusing the famous tennis player of having affairs with them, Elin rose to fame as the wife Tiger Woods betrayed. Rumors about Tiger seemed to overshadow Elin’s side of the story.
A Photographer Discovered Her In Sweden
Elin was born in 1980 mere minutes before her twin sister, Josefin. While growing up with her twin and older brother in Stockholm, Sweden, Elin emerged as an athlete herself. She played soccer and kept up her grades.
Around the turn of the millennia, a photographer named Bingo Rimer discovered Elin. Due to their collaborations, Elin was soon a sought-after model. She sported swimsuits for prominent Swedish magazines but ultimately felt that her calling was in child psychology.
Struggling To Make Her Way Through College
Elin struggled to put herself through college while working. She left the life of modeling behind and picked up some odd jobs that were a better fit for her schedule. While working at a store in Stockholm, a woman walked in who would change her life forever.
The patron turned out to be the wife of famous tennis player Jesper Parnevik. As they got to talking, it came out that she needed a nanny. Since Elin was an aspiring child psychologist, it seemed like the perfect fit.
Starting A New Life In The United States
The one condition regarding the nanny job was that Elin would need to move to the United States. The young lady decided to take a leap of faith and leave her home country to start a new life in the US.
Elin left everything behind, including her college, family, friends, and even her boyfriend. Her relationship came to an end just in time, for it wouldn’t be long before Elin was introduced to Tiger Woods.
She Wasn’t Interested At First
While Elin worked for famous tennis player Jesper Parnevik, she was introduced to Tiger Woods. The athlete was smitten with Elin from the start, but she resisted his advances at first.
Elin was hesitant to date a celebrity because of all the public and media attention that would follow. Had she known how things would turn out, perhaps she would have stuck to her instincts. Ultimately, Tiger won her over and the pair became engaged after two years of dating.
He Threw Her A Multi-Million Dollar Wedding
When it comes to lavish weddings, Tiger knows how to go above and beyond. The festivities were a week-long and took place in Barbados. The golf star rented out an entire hotel to accommodate their guests.
To top it off, he flew in 500 roses! It was also imperative to the couple that security was top-notch. To this day, virtually no photos of the event have been released to the public. Even guests had to mind the newlyweds’ privacy concerns.
Living In The Lap Of Luxury
With Tiger Woods becoming one of the top golfers in the world, the couple had plenty of cash to spend. In addition to living a luxurious lifestyle, they also bought several staggering properties.
They had a handful of homes spread across the United States in Wyoming, Florida, and California. Of course, they also had to purchase a home in Sweden. Living the life of affluence would enable Elin to return home without the stress of funding her trips.
Her First Celebrity Scandal
Just as Elin had feared, living the high life comes with a price. In 2006, a magazine in Ireland put out scandalous photos that they claimed to be of Elin. The former model insisted that the images were not of her.
It took private investigators and attorneys to get down to the bottom of the photo scandal. In the end, the woman photographed turned out to be a former Playboy model. Elin won the case and $200,000 from the magazine.
The Famous Couple Became Parents In 2007
With the photo scandal behind them, Elin and Tiger started their family. They welcomed their first child, a girl they named Sam, in 2007. Two years later, the couple had their second and youngest child.
This time it was a boy, who they named Charlie. Like their parents, both children were bright and athletic. Sam and Charlie would go on to compete in golf tournaments. The family seemed picture-perfect, but the years to come proved that looks can be deceiving.
Elin Heard About Tiger’s Affair
Around Thanksgiving 2009, Elin and Tiger’s relationship seemed like a fairytale. They just welcomed their second child and had plenty of financial security to enjoy the holidays in style.
All of the joy came to a screeching halt when Elin spotted an article online that claimed Tiger had an affair. The mistress in question was Rachel Uchitel, a TV correspondent from New York. The National Enquirer reported that the rendevous had ensued during the Australian Masters golf tournament.
Both Parties Denied The Allegations
Though Tiger Woods was reportedly spotted with Rachel Uchitel at the tournament, he denied having had an affair with her. Since his refute was to be expected, it came down to Rachel’s side of the story.
When asked for comment, Rachel also rejected the claims. It was beginning to look like the tabloids had fabricated the affair, after all. It was a relief to Elin, especially considering the timing. In the days to come, though, something else would become a major concern.
The Questionable Car Wreck
Just two days after the affair allegations, Tiger Woods crashed his Cadillac Escalade into a fire hydrant and a neighbor’s tree. The event occurred at 2:25 in the morning, which served to make Tiger look guilty of something.
When Elin arrived on the scene, she took a golf club to the vehicle. Though rumors spread that she smashing the windows out of fury, Elin later explained that she was trying to get her husband out of the car.
The Ordeal Became A Major Embarrassment
Tiger Woods was hospitalized after the crash and even pulled out of the Chevron World Challenge. He decided not to compete for the rest of the year. Meanwhile, both Elin and Tiger avoided the police as they were reluctant to talk about the incident.
A few days after the crash, the golfer did release a statement online wherein he took complete responsibility for what happened. He also asked that the embarrassing ordeal remain a “private matter.”
Questions About Elin’s Involvement In The Accident
Despite Tiger’s best efforts to keep the public in the dark about his mysterious car accident, information began to swirl about what really happened that night. A neighbor who called 911 in response to the crash says that the golfer didn’t appear intoxicated.
But why was he out so late at night carelessly driving? Some began to wonder if it was a fight with Elin that prompted him to rush out the door. Rumors even began to spread that Elin had found Rachel’s texts.
Rachel Uchitel Ultimately Opened Up About The Affair
If Elin had found proof of Rachel and Tiger’s affair, then why would the mistress lie about it? It could be that she didn’t want her reputation tainted, but some media outlets began to report that she’d been paid off to keep quiet.
A year later, Rachel would come out about what really happened. In a 2010 interview with The Mail, she admitted to the affair. Hoping to set the record straight, Rachel opened up about losing her fiance during 9/11 and the mistakes she made in the emotional aftermath.
Husband And Wife Under Investigation
As rumors continued to swirl, both Tiger and Elin found their reputations on the line. People questioned Elin for taking a golf club to Tiger’s car and wondered if she may have been angrily retaliating to her husband’s affair.
Tiger didn’t face any criminal charges, but he did have a fine and four demerits on his driving record looming over him. All the while, Tiger’s adoration from fans was starting to waiver, especially when more women started speaking up.
Jamiee Grubbs Also Admitted To An Affair With Tiger
At the start of December 2009, merely a week after Tiger’s first affair hit the magazine stands, news of a second affair emerged. Us Weekly revealed that cocktail waitress Jaimee Grubbs was speaking out about her affair with Tiger.
Jaimee claimed that it all began at a golf tournament in 2007, just two months before Elin gave birth to Sam. What’s worse is that this time, the mistress had proof she was willing to release.
The Telling Voicemail
Jaimee Grubbs claimed that she not only had hundreds of texts proving her relationship with Tiger, but also a voicemail. Us Weekly reported that in the voicemail, Tiger asked Jaimee to remove her name from her voicemail.
The odd request would make sense if he feared that Elin might find Jaimee’s number in his phone and call, discovering yet another mistress’ name. With two allegations under his belt and proof on the table, Tiger could no longer run from these claims.
Tiger’s Vague Statement
Only three hours after the article came out about Jaimee’s voicemail, Tiger released a statement on his website. While it wasn’t exactly an apology, the athlete did admit to being at fault for his “transgressions.”
While he admitted that he regrets his decisions, he wouldn’t specify what those actions were. Instead, he asked for privacy by saying, “I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone.”
Another Jamie Comes Forward With Affair Allegations
Yet another alleged mistress rose to fame for claiming to have had an affair with Tiger. Model and Las Vegas cocktail waitress Jamie Jungers went on Today to confirm rumors about her relationship with the golf star.
According to Jamie, the two met at a Vegas party and engaged in an 18-month affair. She also claimed that Tiger Woods wouldn’t give her money when she was down on her luck, leading Jamie to believe he didn’t truly care about her and to ultimately break things off.
Half A Dozen More Allegations
In a short amount of time, several women came forward, admitting that they’d had an affair with Tiger. The women were predominantly adult entertainers or waitresses in their 20s and 30s.
Several women were completely straightforward about their relationship with Tiger, sharing all the details they could with the public. One alleged mistress, Theresa Rogers, went so far as to say Tiger was the father of her child! She also claimed she was with Tiger for a whopping five years.
Mindy Lawton was one of the alleged mistresses who was straightforward about her side of the story. She claimed the pair met in 2006 and had an affair until May 2007. Cory Rist also claimed to have met Tiger in 2006, remaining his mistress for 2.5 years.
An Orlando waitress named Julie Postle allegedly met Tiger in 2004, at which point he had just become engaged to Elin. They reportedly maintained their affair for two years.
Tiger’s Career Was Greatly Impacted
In a matter of weeks, Tiger’s reputation had turned upside down. Though his athletic abilities were unquestionable, his character was no longer something that certain companies wanted to be affiliated with.
Gatorade discontinued their Tiger Woods drink; Gillette dropped him from their ads; consulting firm Accenture Ltd. said the golfer is “no longer the right representative” for their business, and AT&T ended their sponsorship with Tiger. All of this happened in December 2009, right in the middle of the holidays.
Leaving Golf To Save His Marriage
After a couple of nightmarish weeks, Tiger stated on his website that he would be leaving golf indefinitely to work on his marriage. He added, “I need to focus my attention on being a better husband, father, and person.”
All the while, Elin maintained a low profile. All of this negative attention seemed to be the very thing she feared when she met Tiger Woods. Reports about whether or not she would stay with the golfer began to float around, but the answer remained a mystery.
Tiger Makes A Public Apology
Though Tiger had desperately tried to keep his extramarital affairs out of the public eye, it became clear that wasn’t going to happen. Rapidly, these claims had impacted every aspect of his life, including his career.
In February of 2010, nearly three months after the first allegation, Tiger made a public apology. At a Florida golf club, he stated, “I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated. What I did was not acceptable. For all that I have done, I am so sorry.”
Putting Rumors About Elin To Rest
During his apology, Tiger was also sure to address the rumors about Elin. Remember, her reputation was also tarnished when people started questioning her use of the golf club the night of Tiger’s accident.
He said, “Some people have speculated that Elin somehow hurt or attacked me on Thanksgiving night. It hurts me that people would fabricate a story like that.” This statement confirmed that Elin wouldn’t resort to violence, no matter how justified her anger was.
Elin Turned To Her Twin Sister For Help
While Elin watched her marriage fall apart, there was one person she knew she could rely on: her twin sister, Josephin. The sisters were born on New Year’s Day in 1980, which meant that their 30th birthday fell right in the middle of the Tiger Woods scandal.
To get away from it all, the sisters spent their birthday in the French Alps. Though Elin supported Tiger in his desire to get better, she had her own healing to do.
The Marriage Was Coming To An End
One of the telling signs that Elin was not going to remain in her marriage to Tiger came in February of 2010. Though Tiger mentioned Elin in his apology speech, she wasn’t present to hear it. As it turned out, Elin was getting ready to divorce the golfer.
Fortunately for her, Josephin had been working in a law office in England for years. Elin hired the legal office where her sister worked and moved forward with divorce proceedings.
She Ended Up Getting $110 Million!
Considering the millions that Tiger Woods spent on his and Elin’s wedding, people were naturally curious about how much she would get in the divorce. Not only was their marriage ending, but their home was being torn apart in direct response to Tiger’s actions.
In the end, Elin reportedly received $110 million dollars from Tiger Woods or about 1/6 of his income. While no dollar amount would be able to make up for the pain she went through, at least Elin could rest assured that she’d be taken care of for the rest of her life.
They Still Co-Parent
The second thing that many were eager to know is whether or not Tiger would retain custody rights. While he may have been an unfaithful husband, Elin knew that he still deserved a chance at being a great father.
The pair have continued to co-parent ever since their divorce. Their kids, Charlie and Sam, can often be spotted at their dad’s side on the green field. Though their marriage didn’t last, Elin and Tiger maintain an amicable relationship for the kids.